Is Their Definition of “Custom Cure” the Same as Yours? //

Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

Our customers have told us a lot of stories over the years. Usually, they’ve struggled with a specific challenge for some time, and more often than not, have found little in the way of custom results. Many food manufacturers have resigned themselves to settle for whatever their machinery provider offers because they believe that there are no answers beyond the presented product line.

There’s a reason why Spee-Dee is willing to do what the other guys aren’t.

One such story is about a coffee bagging company. This company contacted us and explained that they needed an auger filler to accommodate a small-fill coffee operation at a very high speed. Package filling at the speeds they requested hadn’t been done before, but we showed that it could be accomplished and that Spee-Dee fillers were capable of doing the job accurately and consistently. All it took was the correct calibration paired with some creativity from our engineering team.

Even though our filler could do the job right, it was more costly than a competitor’s bid. They claimed that they could provide a cheaper “solution,” so the coffee company went with the competitor.

Shortly after, the customer came back to us asking for help. Later, they told us that the competitor had a tech in for a week trying to match our machine’s filling performance test. They couldn’t reach the high speed fill rate of the Spee-Dee filler. In fact, the competitor’s technician damaged the machine tooling in his effort to match our results.

The bagger company called us back and we placed a quick order to replace the damaged tooling. This bagger company already had a Spee-Dee demo Auger Filler available for testing. Once we had received the tooling, we sent one of our techs over to the bagger company to help install the Spee-Dee Auger filler and new tooling. Within four hours, he had the machine up and operating smoothly, fully integrated and running at the targeted fill rate… 140 units per minute.

Since this success story, the customer has purchased five more machines from Spee-Dee and now only buys Spee-Dee brand auger fillers.

Spee-Dee is built on the foundation that, no matter what challenge a customer has, our engineers and technicians will do everything possible to overcome any filling problem. If it’s possible, Spee-Dee makes it happen.

Do you have a filling problem that still needs solving? Your custom cure could be just one phone call away.

COULD YOUR BUSINESS USE A TIME MACHINE? //

The secret to faster change overs has been blown wide open. The new rotary filler from Spee-Dee slashes downtime thanks to an innovative all-access design. We like to tell people, “Think of it like a time machine.” It won’t bring you years into the future, but over the life of the machine, it will save you years in downtime.

When Spee-Dee’s engineers redesigned its newest rotary filler, they fixed what line operators didn’t like about old, traditional models. By improving accessibility at all points of the machine, they made cleaning, changeovers and maintenance faster and more convenient. The sleek, modern base design opens access to the entire machine.

With more convenient access to the base, drive system and change parts… cleaning, maintenance and changeovers are straightforward and trouble-free. The innovative design allows access to all sides of the machine. Servicing the motor is now much easier, and the efficient construction means there is less flat surface area to clean.

The streamlined design has access doors on all sides of the machine (spanning from the floor to the height of the hopper) for trouble-free cleaning and maintenance. When open, these doors allow total access to the machine and all change parts. All change overs are accomplished without tools. In addition, all servo drives between the conveyor, timing screw, star wheels and the main turret allow for electronic set up. To top it off, the all stainless steel construction makes this a very sanitary machine.

If you’d like to learn more about this time-saving innovation… fast, effortless change overs are just a phone call away.

 

AN EASY ANSWER TO A WEIGHTY ISSUE //

Some filling problems are actually a wake-up call for creativity.

Spee-Dee learned that one of its customers, a major cereal company, was struggling to achieve their minimum volume requirements for its packaged cereal. There were noticeable fluctuations in the product’s density. They could achieve the right weight in the package, but it often looked half full. The cereal company started getting complaints from customers. When they opened the package, they said, “Hey, you’re only giving me half a box of cereal,” even though it was the exact regulated weight.

In response, Spee-Dee developed its Advanced Volumetric System (AVS); the first filling system that allows both weight and volume to be controlled simultaneously. Here’s how it works. Bags are filled using a volumetric cup filler. The filler has the ability to tell exactly what volume is being dispensed. High and low volumes can be set. Package weights are gathered by the in-line scale and are fed back to the PLC. Minimum and maximum weights can be set. The PLC is programmed to quickly and precisely regulate volume using the weight data. This prevents fills from falling below minimum settings and eliminates overfills. You achieve your target weight and volume every time.

Spee-Dee has installed many AVS units to solve comparable problems for similar companies. AVS has helped them check and control their minimum/maximum weight AND their minimum/maximum volume. This same technology can easily be deployed to package rice, pet food and coffee.

Spee-Dee hasspent more than 35 years helping customers keep their brand promise by increasing line efficiencies and improving product fill accuracy.

Check back to see how Spee-Dee’s “open-minded thinking” helped line operators achieve fast and easy changeovers!

A QUICK CURE FOR SLOPPY SEALS //

We’ve all heard this before. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.

When it comes to long-standing filling challenges, many of us have resigned ourselves to the fact that some problems just can’t be fixed. We think it’s impossible to achieve a perfectly clean seal with certain free flowing mixes and we live with sloppy, leaky seals. We live with slower speeds to allow dust and drips to settle before the next fill. But let’s remember; every major challenge in manufacturing was thought impossible until somebody did it!

Over the last several years, Spee-Dee has been committed to working out otherwise unworkable problems. When certain mixes began to compromise the quality of many form/fill seals, Spee-Dee introduced its vacuum tooling. This innovative solution prevents drips and dribbles by creating adequate charge separation when packaging free flowing and semi-non free flowing products.

By eliminating drips and dust, producers can achieve a clean, good-looking seal. They can also prevent “leakers” without having to slow down production. Vacuum tooling can actually speed up the filling cycle.

When vacuum pressure is engaged, air is drawn through the mesh screen at the bottom of the auger funnel to densify the powder. This vacuum action holds the product inside the funnel and stops the flow of product. In addition to NO drips, NO dribbles and NO clumps, there are no moving parts!

If you’re living with a filling problem you think is unwinnable, present your challenge to Spee-Dee. We’ve spent more than 35 years defying convention and introducing exclusive innovations like vacuum tooling. We made it our mission to help our customers score safer, cleaner and more efficient running lines.

Check back to see how we helped a cereal company solve the battle of the “half full” box.

Your Cleanest and Safest Choice in Rotary Fillers //

Would you be interested in a Rotary Filler that was easier to keep clean and improved safety features for your line operators?

We started with an all stainless steel construction for long-lasting durability and improved cleanliness. Compared to traditional rotary fillers, the smaller base and innovative trapezoidal design has less surface area to keep clean. Less base area means less to clean— and less cleaning time means more time for filling!

The Rotary Filler also features a guard that covers the infeed and outfeed conveyors, promoting safer practices for machine operators. The filling funnels attach to the turret using imbedded magnets, which means no fasteners or catch points, which also makes the filler safer and more sanitary.

Lexan doors surround the filler from the floor to the top of the machine for better protection. The doors offer excellent visibility inside the machine, allowing operators to monitor its performance and quickly identify maintenance concerns before they become an issue.

If you’re filling spices, nuts, baby formula or another dry powder product into rigid containers, Spee-Dee’s new Rotary Filler keeps your line running faster, safer and cleaner.

 

Tool-less Design for Simple Maintenance //

When we designed our new Rotary Filler, we took the tools away to keep downtime to a minimum. Spee-Dee’s engineers developed our new Rotary Filler with an innovative tool-less design to make maintenance and changeovers a breeze.

All change parts are completely tool-less. The augers can be moved to the outside area of the machine, which allows easy access to change tooling. Other parts like the timing screw, star wheels and guides can also be removed quickly and easily.

We also added a servo-driving timing screw, which is used to space containers so they feed into the first star wheel properly and with more accuracy. Additionally, there are quick-change adaptors that attach to the funnels to accommodate different sized containers. These funnels connect to the turret using magnets in place of fasteners. The lack of fasteners makes itmore sanitary and also improves maintenance and changeover times.

Spee-Dee’s Rotary Filler also features an independent vibration rail that is isolated from the rest of the machine. Due to its independence from the rest of the machine, the vibration does not interfere with the machine’s operation, which enhances accuracy and reduces vibration-related mechanical complications.

With its tool-less design, Spee-Dee’s new Rotary Filler useswell-thought innovation to slash the time it takes for cleaning and changeovers.Our Rotary Filler’s tool-less design improves efficiency, but stay tuned to learn how we made the new Rotary Filler more sanitary!

Rotary Fillers From Spee-Dee: Easy Access for Effortless Changeovers //

When we redesigned our Rotary Filler, our engineers addressed every issue anyone ever had with old, traditional models. The efficiency experts at Spee-Dee developed a brand new Rotary Filler designed to slash downtime.

We solved the problems of accessibility and surface area management to make cleaning, changeovers and maintenance faster and more convenient than ever before. The sleek and modern design of the base for our Rotary Filler has less surface area to clean and improves access to the entire machine.

Conventional rotary fillers have a large box-shaped support base, commonly 24 inches tall and with a footprint of approximately six feet by eight feet. This boxy design has more flat surface area to keep clean and makes accessing the machine’s motor cumbersome.

Using a smaller base increases the number of access points (compared to similarly sized rotary fillers). Unlike the competition’s large rectangular base, our innovative design translates to a smaller base, which gives you open access to all sides of the machine.

The streamlined design has access doors on all sides of the machine for trouble-free cleaning and maintenance. They span from the floor to the height of the hopper. When open, these doors allow total access to the machine and all change parts.

The innovative base design isn’t the only thing that speeds up changeovers. Imagine how much faster they could be if you didn’t need tools!  See Spee-Dee Rotary Fillers.

Spee-Dee Combination Fillers Perfect for Multi-ingredient Applications //

STURTEVANT, Wis., (April 22, 2015) Combination filling systems use two or more fillers to fill multiple ingredients into a single container. They come in a variety of designs to meet the wide range of multi-component products. Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery offers several combination fillers to meet various production needs and line configurations.

Servo motors are incorporated to give optimal control while maintaining a reduced mounting profile. A single electrical cabinet houses the PLC based electrical system. A single operator interface touch screen controls the machine. Both fillers are secured to a single mounting platform for integration on the automatic bag making equipment.

  1. Cup and Auger: Used to fill products that contain a particulate and a powder.

Perfect for: soup mixes, stuffing mixes, rice and spice meals, beans and spice meals and dessert mixes.

  1. Auger and Auger: Used to fill two powdered products into one container; can be timed to fill simultaneously for a blended mix or sequentially to let one ingredient rest on top.

Perfect for: applications with a powdered premix and a powdered main ingredient; like instant potatoes.

  1. Cup/Auger/Cup: Used to fill one powder and two particulate products in one container.

Perfect for: instant oatmeal packs or cups; which would include oats, a powdered premix and dried fruit.

  1. Auger or Cup/Combination Scale: A separate auger of cup filler is used to add a single ingredient into another product that is being filled using a combination scale.

Perfect for: adding a seasoning to a crouton product; adding an expensive candy to a trail mix; or adding nuts to a cereal where the main line needs to be protected from a potential allergen (like peanuts and tree nuts).

To view other features and options for Spee-Dee combination filling machines, please visit Spee-Dee or call 877-375-2121 to speak to a Spee-Dee representative.

Improve Your Productivity with Custom Solutions from Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery //

Filling your potential is the goal of every 3600 series auger filler unit. And when you’re faced with a unique set of obstacles or challenges, Spee-Dee can help you maximize your filling potential with more than a dozen custom options.

Every 3600 series servo drive auger filler helps you achieve precise, repeatable filling cycles. Whether you’re using a bagger, pouch machine, cartoner or conveyor line, the 3600 series filler is able to accomplish all of your high-torque, high-speed application requirements.

But what happens when you’re dealing with space limitations, need to meet new sanitary requirements or face an increased number of changeovers? Spee-Dee has the custom solution you need to optimize productivity.

  • Adjustable height stands: easily accommodate the height of different containers and readily adapt to complex line configurations or limited space
  • Belted head for low head room: increases clearance in the work area by reducing the height of the filler by up to 10”
  • Quick disconnect hopper clamps: allow the hopper to be removed quickly for easy cleaning and tooling changes
  • Hopper sight glass: window gives a single person access to the tooling for faster changeovers; also allows the operator to visually inspect the product in the hopper from the floor
  • Split hopper: makes maintenance and cleaning faster and easier; toolless changeovers increase efficiency
  • Sanitary upgrades: engineered to prevent product corruption from outside sources; materials and fabrications are specially engineered for packaging perishable dry products that require meticulous sanitary standards
  • Infeed screw: by controlling the speed and delivery rate of the infeed auger, you keep the product and pressure levels in the hopper constant; constant pressure overcomes the problem of hopper level variations and significantly enhances fill accuracy and repeatability; makes cleaning and changeovers faster and easier
  • Electrical control upgrades: we incorporate a control package that’s right for your specific electrical specifications; Programmable Logic Controls (PLC); human machine interface (HMI), servo motors and amplifiers and other components
  • High torque motors: Direct drive design; Servo motor provides high torque for applications with large fill weights and vertical form fill seals
  • 10 and 20 gallon hopper options: two hopper sizes help you better meet the requirements of your filling application to improve productivity.
  • Level controls: various designs to meet a multitude of product requirements; used to turn on the infeed device to fill the hopper; keeps the hopper head pressure constant to increase accuracy.

To view other features and optional equipment for Spee-Dee powder filling machines, please visit www.spee-dee.com or call 877-375-2121 to speak to a Spee-Dee representative.

Follow these 3 steps to correctly specify your next dry powder auger or cup filling machine //

You have a powdery beverage mix, and it needs to get inside a pouch. That’s easy enough right? Sounds like all you need is a filling machine; load it up with the mix and start packaging away.

Well, not exactly.

The manner in which you go about getting that beverage mix inside the pouch can be an extremely difficult task to accomplish, but it doesn’t have to be. Researching vendors and establishing communication with them early on; learning as much about your application; and asking the right questions in the initial stages of the specifying process can ensure you receive the right filling machine for your needs…and ultimately fill the powdery mix inside the pouch as efficiently as possible.

Do your research

When it comes to specifying your free-flowing and non free-flowing dry powder filling machine, there definitely is a right way…and a not-so right way to go about things. If you’re interested in saving time, money and a lot of headaches, of course you’ll want to follow the right path to success. The first step is to research vendors.

An online search shows there are several companies that manufacture dry filling machines – vendors ranging from major industry players with recognizable name recognition down to small shops that may only build a few models a year. Do your homework and research these companies. Have they been around a while and built up a reputation of quality workmanship? What kind of technical expertise, experience and knowledge do they bring to the industry and your application? What kind of testing do they perform on their fillers to ensure the fill rates they quoted hit the mark? Do they have customer testimonials you can review? How well do they stand by their work and customer service after the filler has been installed?

It’s also important to select a vendor that will design a filling machine around your application, and not the other way around. Some vendors shy away from customizing their fillers and try to modify your application to make it fit. This strategy ultimately fails because you won’t achieve the desired performance for your application. No two fills are exactly alike, which is why fillers need to be built to your exact specifications relating to your application.

Know your application and ask questions

Filling a product successfully depends on several factors, all of which need to be considered during the early stages of the design process. The key is to communicate as much information about your application as possible to the filling machine vendor or the OEM that’s designing your system. A vendor will want to know:

  • What’s the product being filled?
  • What’s the density of the product?
  • What is the weight or volume of the product?
  • What’s the package the product is going in?
  • What’s the size of the opening of the package?
  • Are the packages being fed into the filling system automatically or manually?
  • Are the packages being formed on a vertical or horizontal form fill seal machine?
  • Are the packages pre-made?
  • What’s the speed the packages are traveling at?

Having accurate answers to these types of questions helps streamline the specifying process. Missing answers to even one question can delay development and cost a food manufacturer thousands of dollars. For example, if the machine is being positioned on a floor stand and placed under something, how much clearance is available from the top of the machine to the obstruction above it? If the clearance is tight and a low profile machine stand is required, that costs more to manufacture. Seemingly innocuous questions on something about two inches of clearance can cost a few thousand dollars. That’s why it’s important for vendors to ask questions and receive accurate answers early in order to specify a filling machine right the first time.

Of course even during the early stages of the specifying process, specific information about the application may still be unknown. For example, package sizes can change at the last minute depending on the retailer’s shelf size. Additionally, alterations to the application can be dictated by the OEM, which could affect fill rate and other performances. There are many downstream marketing and end-of-line decisions that may not yet be made, even while the specification process is occurring, which will eventually dictate the type of filler and its performance. Things can change very quickly in the packaging world, so it’s best to keep the vendor, or the OEM if you’re working through one, updated of any changes to the application to minimize disruptions.

Follow the path to successful fills

It’s critical to your application that you select the right filling machine. The last thing you need is a filler that doesn’t meet performance specifications, or doesn’t interact well with the product being filled. Several factors need to be taken into account and calculated in designing a filling machine. Researching vendors, knowing your application well and establishing a line of open communication early in the specifying process will go a long way toward securing the right filler for your machine…and ensuring the powdery beverage mix or any other dry product finds its way efficiently into the bag.

Timm Johnson is the vice president sales/marketing at Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery (www.spee-dee.com). He can be reached at 262-321-6103; tjohnson@spee-dee.com.